On Saturday we had to opportunity to do some user testing on the maps we’re creating for the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Because the maps are directed towards children, we were able to ask a couple of families to come out and give us an opinion about the form and function of the map. Here is a list of things I can take away from the testing. Also its important to keep in mid that most of the conditions were different then they would be on the day of the event, such as the lack of sculpture guides and tents.
1. Without a literal comparison between map and sculpture younger children cannot make the instantaneous connection between an abstract icon and something which is visually different in the real world. So the pictorial gap between life and map should be bridged for the sole purpose of way finding and activating the sculpture garden.
2. While some elements on the map are there such as compass and key, they can be brought up is visual hierarchy in order to emphasize there functionality.
3. Although the map contains reference points it might be useful to include more, or atleast make those which are present more pictorial.
4. The art making activity doesn’t need to include the paper bag vest.